I've just had the call...(Hepatitis C (Hep C) HCV Blog)

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Hi Everyone,

Well, I've just had the 'THE CALL' from St.Jimmy's asking me to make my way over for the Operation!

I can't begin to tell you what I'm feeling right now or how much my hands are trembling as I'm trying to write....

The only way I can best describe this is like the first time I made love to my wife, I know everything feels right about it but I'm so nervous in case it all goes wrong.

I know it all went so well the last time so heres hoping it will do again.

If you get a mo, spare me a thought and I'll get Mandy to keep you posted in a couple of days.

Keep well everyone .... Ian


Words of Wisdom from Wossy! (Hepatitis C (Hep C) HCV Blog)

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Guest blog : Jonathan Ross

'TELL me, how many times did you knock one out over Princess Margaret?' is the question I'd have put to Prince Philip if he'd ever been allowed to come on my show. Then I'd turn to the audience and say 'let's be honest folks - she got all the looks in that particular family, didn't she? And according to various sources, she could bang like the proverbial shithouse door'. And then I'd laugh and he'd laugh and everyone would go to bed happy. I am so proud of my time at the BBC.

Since announcing my decision to leave the BBC, I've been inundated with dozens of exciting offers. One of them is to co-host Channel Four's 300-hour Martial Arts Anime special with my great friend, Mr Quentin Tarantino. The event will include a never-before-seen home movie of Bruce Lee cleaning the top of the kitchen cabinets in his Hong Kong penthouse. Better than sex, that is.

Which reminds me of the hilarious time Quentin and Uma (that's Uma Thurman, actually) came on my show to plug the genius that is Kill Bill. After Quentin and myself had agreed that I possess a more comprehensive collection of Manga-inspired Kimonos and TJ Hooker memorabilia, I turned to Uma and asked her - as bold as brass - 'don't forget darling, if you ever get tired of old chinny here, you might like to take a ride on the Wossy love express - and just in case you were wondering, no, I don't own a Type 5 Locomotive, I'm talking about my cock'. That sort of thing just won't work with Mark Kermode.

People often say to me, Jonathan you must be jealous of old Parky having had access to some of the legends back in the talk show heyday of the 1970s. In a way I do - but I like to think that I would've freshened things up a tad. For instance, if I'd had legendary filmmaker, bon viveur and raconteur Orson Welles on my show, I would've asked him proper questions such as, "Orson, you made Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons and Touch of Evil. Is your belly button and 'inee' or an 'outee'?" I love cinema.
I was minding me own business the other day, sorting my collection of Japanese Tupperware Star Wars action figures into alphabetical order, when I suddenly had the urge to make another one of my groundbreaking prank phone calls. So I dig out my mobile and scroll down through famous name after famous name until I reach a certain Mark Thompson. "Hello is that the director general of the BBC? I did a poo in your desk drawer and you smell like old man's spunk!" You see, there's always a reason people get paid £6 million a year.

As told to Matt Owen

With special thanks to http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/


Shane Laffy - We Got Love (Hepatitis C (Hep C) HCV Blog)

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Hi Folks,

Have a look at this video - I LOVE IT!

The guy is called Shane Laffy, an ageing (whoops, sorry Shane) Aussie rocker, he had Hep C and a Liver Transplant and now he's going for it!

I met him online through a 'twitter' HCV help site run by Murph (@hepCoz).

Shane in his own words: "A 53 year old big ugly bugger. A reborn Songwriter, Singer, Guitarist, (no! not born again) who makes his own clips to his tunes - had a Liver Transplant 5 years ago and now try to use every moment to create."

OK, sit back, relax, turn up the volume and Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Mr Shane Laffy (rapturous applause)


click on the link and turn it up!

Keep well everyone... Ian


Stories Like Mine... (Hepatitis C (Hep C) HCV Blog)

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

I was chatting with an old friend online the other day. Like a few of my friends, he had been following my blog on facebook and so was aware of my current plight. What he didn’t know about until he’d read my blog; was that I had experimented with drugs during my late teens and early twenties and that that was the probable cause of my contracting Hep C.

He’d sent me a message asking how I was doing and when I thought that I might get a transplant, that kind of thing. I had given my usual answers as by now I’m used to this line of questioning. He then took me by surprise and said “You know Ian; I had no idea you were so bad when you were younger”. It knocked me ‘off-cock’ as I thought about that for a moment. I remember thinking ‘oh my God, is that what he thinks?’ Suddenly I wished that I’d never written so much about my past. I tried to answer with a kind of throw away comment “Oh, we all have our skeletons...” He replied “Jesus, Skeletons... You’ve got the whole bloody graveyard in there!”

He was making light of it, but I think when he probably read about my former life it would certainly come as somewhat of a shock to him. My friend had never been into drugs and I dare say that the nearest he’d ever been to them was kicking some kids out of his pub for smoking ‘wacky backy’. I suppose it made him sit up and think about how someone he knew so well had had any kind of drug-taking history.

Comparatively, my drug taking years was short lived however they were fairly intense. And during this time I would never have considered myself to be a ‘bad’ person, young and foolish maybe but never ‘bad’. Many people who start taking drugs and then get into the whole drug scene find that they then spend half their life trying to free themselves of the affliction. I on the other hand realised fairly early on that the life of a junkie was not for me.

OK, before I go any further, I want to apologise in advance to anyone who knows me. What I’m about to tell you will probably shock some people and it will probably be embarrassing for my family. Not that my upbringing had any bearing on what happened during my formative years. But what I’m going to tell you is just how it happened. So to all of those people who can’t handle this; stop reading now.

OK, if you’re still with me, let me tell you this story begins and ends quite well. It’s the bit in the middle that goes a bit ‘off-kilter’, my ‘formative years’.

My childhood was very happy. I was one of five children brought up on a farm in rural Yorkshire. My Father was a farm labourer on a modest wage; we lived in a ‘tied’, drafty farmhouse. Dad worked God knows how many hours to scratch us a living. My Mum stayed at home and cooked and cleaned and worked her fingers to the bone to bring up five children; four brothers and a youngest sister, in a strong and loving family environment.

I was born slap bang in the middle of the family unit and some of my very old friends teased me by calling me ‘the runt of the litter’. This was mainly on account of my brothers and sister was strong, healthy ‘farming-stock’, and I was just not! It did't bother me none, and as the saying goes “...but we were happy”, and we really were!

And so, being raised in this agricultural environment, you can imagine how it was when I told my family after appearing in a couple of small bit-parts in the school play; that I wanted to go to Drama School! I’ll never forget that look of “Oh my God, he’s a puff!” which, let me clear this up here and now, I am not. Not that I’m homophobic or prejudice in any way, I’m just ‘not’. I will say though, that for some bizarre and unbeknown reason to me and considering we are all very much ‘cast from the same mould’; I am in many ways very different from my siblings.

However, my family never faltered and supported me whole heartedly, and so off I went. As I said earlier, I was young and foolish, never bad but full of ideals and eager to meet the world outside of my safe rural family background.

My naiveté and my keen desire to try absolutely everything soon led me astray and within a few short years, drugs had got the better of me. It’s a long story but before you could say ‘jumping jack flash’, I was drug dependant.

My ‘experimenting had closed in on me and eventually I became addicted to Heroin and worse still, I was injecting. I was like this for two or three years, but before that I was into just about anything I could lay my hands on, as well as I had what they call ‘needle-fever’; I would ‘whack’ up anything if I thought it would get me off my tree!

But after a couple of Methadone scripts that failed, a couple of close mates who O.D’eed and a shit-load of dirty hits, I decided to get out and go and see some mates who'd gone to live in Chamonix, France. I had no money so I hitched to Dover, got on the Ferry and then 'jumped' the trains all the way there.

When I got there I'd done all my gear in, (in case I had to share it) and my friends, who were living in a Swiss style cuckoo clock chalet, locked me in a room with the shutters closed. They then left me to go 'cold turkey'. It damn near killed me but eventually, with them feeding me soup or cereal, I emerged 'clean'.

My head was ‘f**ked’ and I would say it took about a year before I stopped getting 'flashbacks', as my conscience re-installed itself, but I was determined never to go back.
     - It was seven years before I dare go back to England and that was with my girlfriend (now my wife) and I still don't go back to my hometown unless I absolutely have to, twenty-five years on. I'm fine now considering but I did get depressed for a long time but eventually I rebuilt my life.

I got a job in a restaurant in France, I learnt to cook, which seemed to come quite naturally too me, and I learnt the language which did not! I honed my cooking skills in France and worked my way up to Head Chef; that was quite cool for a 'Rosbif en France’!

Then when I came back to England with Mandy, we got jobs in two local pubs in Nottingham and after several years, we were managing our own. Eventually we got sick of doing all the hard work for somebody else to take all the profit and so, with the help of Mandy’s mum, Anne, we sold our houses and bought our own pub. Nearly ten years later, we had three! I’d dug myself out of a hole and built a new life for myself and I was damn proud of that.

Then, January 2nd a couple of years ago, I got sick. I dashed to our toilet and started vomiting blood, bloody loads of it, I managed to call my wife and she and her mum dashed into the toilet. I'll never forget the look on their face as they saw me with blood everywhere, all down my face and chin and spewing out of my mouth. It was fare to say that the Hep C virus had had enough of being quiet all those years and I think we all thought I was going to die right there and then.

I was diagnosed with HCV, geno type 1a. The rest is history but after a biopsy it was clear that the only treatment available was a liver transplant and so eventually I've qualified and I am now on the transplant waiting list at St. Jimmy's in Leeds.

OK, pause for a moment, becuse here comes the real tragedy,

If we as a society would decriminalise and accept all drugs and our ‘need’ to sometimes use them, whether it’s alcohol, tobacco, dope or heroin. If we stop this crazy classification of them and accept that if heroin is class A then alcohol is A+. If we stop wasting money driving drugs underground so that drug dealers get richer and untouchable whilst drug users keep getting ill and clogging up our prisons. If our politicians can stop manipulating statics so that they can use hollow cliché’s like “the war on drugs” - which we all know has already been fought and lost. If we can do all this and use the proceeds to better educate and support anybody, drug user or alcoholic or even a naive farm boy, from getting into trouble, then maybe it would stop stories like mine from happening.

I have learnt so much about addiction over the years, from my own experiences and from my time in the bars and restaurants that I have worked in. And of late I have had more time than most to contemplate the answer to it. It riles me to think about it – not just that my story could have been so different if we stopped this madness, but it’s the futility of what we’re doing. I know that making a decision like this would not come without pain, that's why our ‘leaders’ would never do it. They would rather manipulate the stats instead of actually doing anything.

But I truly believe that if we just had the stomach to do this, it would empower us to tackle the real war which is addiction and ultimately our own health. Well, that’s my theory anyway, you can take it or leave it but you can’t deny that we’re not winning the way things are, and it will keep getting worse. And if we do something about it then you wouldn’t have to listen to me ‘carping on’ all the bloody time!

Keep well everyone.... Ian


My HepC/Liver Transplant Journey – A Video Diary (Hepatitis C Blog)

Thursday, 14 January 2010

First Prize for 'Bird Brain of Britain' goes to ME, actually... MINE, MINE, MINE, MINE...!

My HepC/Liver Transplant Journey – A Video Diary - Coming Soon! (maybe), (I hope, if I can figure out how to bloody do it), (just trying to sort some tech stuff out with it at the mo)

Just to let you all know, I am still currently working on my video diary.

My problem in a nut-shell is this;, I shot it on a Sony HandyCam that uses MiniDiscs but does not support PC download, so I’m trying to work out how I can get the Video from the Camera to the PC so that I can upload it to YouTube, and then I can post it to my blog and all over the place.

If anybody has any idea what software (or hardware for that matter) to use to open it and save it, or so that I can change it to a file format that I can upload to YouTube; then I think we'd be cooking on gas - but it has to be really simple to use ‘cos I'm a real dummy at this kind of stuff.

I'm OK once I've done it a couple of times, so that I can replicate the task, but getting me there in the first place is a real pain in the arse.

Then I’ll post it in as many places as possible without hopefully terrifying any young children or the elderly and infirm, however if you find it disturbing you're quite free to turn it off.

Any advice would be appreciated but please be aware of what you would be dealing with; I need really basic hand holding sort of stuff or else I just seem to lose it. The problem seems to be something to do with me being a technological moron with the attention span of a guppy at the moment.

So I need the help of some rather more cleverer people than me – but that would be anyone with a higher IQ of about 10 right now! I’m not very bright but I can lift heavy things, actually that’s not true, I can’t lift heavy things either!

Just some techno insight for ya, it's a Sony HandyCam DCR DVD92E

It does say in the instruction book that it does not support PC download, but of course you've bought it and got it home and opened it by then!

I bought it about 3-4 years ago when my little girl was born. I thought Sony, good make. I can play the MiniDiscs immediately in a DVD player, excellent, and it had a cable and a socket on the front of the camera which I mistook for a mini-USB socket.

It turns out it's a 'half-moon' shaped thing and the lead goes to 3 ‘phono’ type plugs (red, white and yellow) that you can plug into your telly for editing and stuff. I have tried to buy a cable that is a ‘half-moon’ socket thingy, to a USB but they say it doesn't exist (a year or two ago).

Anyway, when I put a disk in my laptop it does see the Video files in a load of folders that say something like VD TS or VS BUP or something like that, but if you click on them my laptop says 'file not recognised' or 'cannot open file VS...' that kind of thing.

My laptop is about a year old Acer Aspire and is normally fairly good, but if I put DVD movies in it, it tends to show the movie but with no sound???

I hope my ramblings are helpful and mean something to somebody and thanks for your indulgence so far. Hope someone can help! If you see Video Diary on the blog then you know it’s sorted!

Wasn't life so much simpler when all we had was a Kodak Instamatic and a telephone, that's bloody progress for ya....

Keep well everyone .... Ian


Understanding Autism

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

A good freind of mine, Keira, saw my status on facebook regarding Autism and sent me the following message   - I think this really says it all...

"Brendan is Autistic and he does okay. He's included in my high school as well as his own and he's even trying to take a GCSE in Graphic Art and Design. He sometimes gets teased but he seems happy the vast majority of the time. I think acceptance is an achievable wish for 2010! :)"

I feel I haave learned so much in 10 minutes, thanks to all.

.... Ian


Chrissy's Wish for 2010 - Understanding Autism

My wish for 2010 is that people will understand that autism is not a disease; people with autism are not looking for a cure but ACCEPTANCE

People with autism have said that the world, to them, is a mass of people, places and events which they struggle to make sense of, and which can cause them considerable anxiety. In particular, understanding and relating to other people, and taking part in everyday family and social life may be harder for them. Other people appear to know, intuitively, how to communicate and interact with each other, and some people with autism may wonder why they are 'different'.

Here, we explain more about what autism is.

What is autism?

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability. It is part of the autism spectrum and is sometimes referred to as an autism spectrum disorder, or an ASD. The word 'spectrum' is used because, while all people with autism share three main areas of difficulty, their condition will affect them in very different ways. Some are able to live relatively 'everyday' lives; others will require a lifetime of specialist support.

The three main areas of difficulty which all people with autism share are sometimes known as the 'triad of impairments'. They are:

■difficulty with social communication

■difficulty with social interaction

■difficulty with social imagination.

These are described in more detail below.
It can be hard to create awareness of autism as people with the condition do not 'look' disabled: parents of children with autism often say that other people simply think their child is naughty; while adults find that they are misunderstood.

All people with autism can benefit from a timely diagnosis and access to appropriate services and support.
There is a form of autism called Asperger syndrome. For more information, see our leaflet What is Asperger syndrome?

What are the characteristics of autism?
The characteristics of autism vary from one person to another but are generally divided into three main groups.

Difficulty with social communication
"For people with autistic spectrum disorders, 'body language' can appear just as foreign as if people were speaking ancient Greek."
People with autism have difficulties with both verbal and non-verbal language. Many have a very literal understanding of language, and think people always mean exactly what they say. They can find it difficult to use or understand:

■facial expressions or tone of voice

■jokes and sarcasm

■common phrases and sayings; an example might be the phrase 'It's cool', which people often say when they think that something is good, but strictly speaking, means that it's a bit cold.

Some people with autism may not speak, or have fairly limited speech. They will usually understand what other people say to them, but prefer to use alternative means of communication themselves, such as sign language or visual symbols.
Others will have good language skills, but they may still find it hard to understand the give-and-take nature of conversations, perhaps repeating what the other person has just said (this is known as echolalia) or talking at length about their own interests.
It helps if other people speak in a clear, consistent way and give people with autism time to process what has been said to them.

Difficulty with social interaction
"Socialising doesn't come naturally - we have to learn it."
People with autism often have difficulty recognising or understanding other people's emotions and feelings, and expressing their own, which can make it more difficult for them to fit in socially. They may:

■not understand the unwritten social rules which most of us pick up without thinking: they may stand too close to another person for example, or start an inappropriate subject of conversation

■appear to be insensitive because they have not recognised how someone else is feeling

■prefer to spend time alone rather than seeking out the company of other people

■not seek comfort from other people

■appear to behave 'strangely' or inappropriately, as it is not always easy for them to express feelings, emotions or needs.

Difficulties with social interaction can mean that people with autism find it hard to form friendships: some may want to interact with other people and make friends, but may be unsure how to go about this.

Difficulty with social imagination
"We have trouble working out what other people know. We have more difficulty guessing what other people are thinking."
Social imagination allows us to understand and predict other people's behaviour, make sense of abstract ideas, and to imagine situations outside our immediate daily routine. Difficulties with social imagination mean that people with autism find it hard to:

■understand and interpret other people's thoughts, feelings and actions

■predict what will happen next, or what could happen next

■understand the concept of danger, for example that running on to a busy road poses a threat to them

■engage in imaginative play and activities: children with autism may enjoy some imaginative play but prefer to act out the same scenes each time

■prepare for change and plan for the future

■cope in new or unfamiliar situations.

Difficulties with social imagination should not be confused with a lack of imagination. Many people with autism are very creative and may be, for example, accomplished artists, musicians or writers.

Other related characteristics

Love of routines
"One young person with autism attended a day service. He would be dropped off by taxi, walk up to the door of the day service, knock on it and be let in. One day, the door opened before he could knock and a person came out. Rather than go in through the open door, he returned to the taxi and began the routine again."
The world can seem a very unpredictable and confusing place to people with autism, who often prefer to have a fixed daily routine so that they know what is going to happen every day. This routine can extend to always wanting to travel the same way to and from school or work, or eat exactly the same food for breakfast.
Rules can also be important: it may be difficult for a person with autism to take a different approach to something once they have been taught the 'right' way to do it. People with autism may not be comfortable with the idea of change, but can cope well if they are prepared for it in advance.

taken from: The National Autistic Society Website


Days when it just dont work.... Again (Hepatitis C (Hep C) Blog)

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Days when it just dont work.... Again

I've had another one of those crappy days today, not because anything went wrong or anybody said or did anything to piss me off. But just 'because'.

I've had plenty of those days where plenty has gone wrong in recent months. At times it felt like it was open season for having a 'pop'. Since my first ‘attack’ and subsequent diagnosis I can honestly say that nearly every part of my life has changed.

Some things I have come to learn; it doesn't matter how much stuff you surround yourself with or how high you build your towers, it can all be blown away in an instant.

Never feel untouchable or above this because one day, it really could be you.

But I'm not writing to lecture you, not today. I just want to 'blood let' for a while and write it down. Because my day really has felt pretty 'crap', So I thought I'd share it with you. Some bloody mate, eh? And it helps somehow, writing it down, somehow I find it helps me to see through the fog. I can concentrate line by line what I feel and eventually, when I raise my head and start to read itt back, I can look at it with some clarity, and say "yeah, that's it" like I'm listening to someone else telling me this 'nightmare-ish' story.

I only recently told my family even though we've known for some time about my HCV and that the only treatment left open to me was a liver transplant. I couldn't see the point of telling them because I didn't want to worry them and I knew there was nothing they could do about it anyway. I also didn't want this kind of questioning getting in the way every time I saw them because it's now more than ever that I just want to enjoy their company.

Mandy was furious that I wouldn’t tell them because she said it was their right to worry. I understood where she was coming from but I didn't want to be the object of their pity so reluctantly she agreed to go along with it.

It's only since it was becoming increasingly obvious that something was wrong and I was turning ‘yellow’ that I decided to 'come clean' so to speak.

However, I try my best to be my 'old self' whenever I go over, like I do whenever I go to any of my friends’ and families place, or if I bump into someone in the street.

But you can always see as we're talking, the conversation going on behind the eyes. It’s the evaluation of when I was my old self; and now. The "oh Christ he looks awful" and the “it’s true then” and all the while their mouth goes into 'autopilot' as they ask "so, how are you?" Then the realisation of the enormity of that question!

For my family it is genuine concern but for many it's a "bollocks, bollocks, bollocks, why did I say that" moment. I try and getaway with “Yeah, y’know, just plodding along” a ‘get out’ for both of us but some people just don’t know when to stop!

But, after a day like yesterday, when I felt really good and like I was getting somewhere.I took the dog out on a good long walk, as I do, and I'm thinking "yeah, I can whup this things arse, no problem.. And then today, as ever I’m tired and in pain so I end up spending the day doing very little and staying in bed. The kids will come in periodically and crawl all over you and you feel like screaming at them because their hurting you or keeping you from your sleep. Or you want squeeze them tight to you and get comfort from their innocence and lack of understanding of the situation.

And that’s when the emotional roller coaster kicks in. You start to wonder if you’ll ever get a transplant because God, you’re sick of feeling sick. You want to make plans but then you know you can’t. The “why me?” and the “why not you, who ever said life was fair?” And you start to believe that everything you’ve ever done could just be about to go down the toilet.

It does make you feel afraid and even cry. You want to hide and under the covers and have a really good ‘blub’ like you did when you were a kid, hoping your Mum would hear and come and tell you it was just a nasty dream and that everythings alright now, sshhh.

Mandy has been great and so have the kids. They made me realise that all that truly matters in life is the people you surround yourself with. And then you want to blub. But, for now I just have to hang in there. I know theres light at the end of the tunnel, but some days it's just a little obscured.

My life has been punctuated by some massive highs and extreme lows and for the most part I wouldn't change a thing. I know everything is supposed to happen for a reason but for me, on days like today, it just dont  work anymore…

Keep well everyone .... Ian


Coming To A Telly Near You (Hepatitis C (Hep C) Blog)

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

As if I hadn’t blighted cyber-space enough already!

I have supplied you all with a steady stream of my ramblings from my often dazed and confused and exceedingly warped mind. Over the last couple of months I have been writing about my experiences as a Hepatitis C sufferer, who is currently on the waiting list for a liver transplant. Due to the fact that I am no longer working; coupled with the fact that I have absolutely nothing else better to do other than a list as long as your arm of stuff Mandy has asked for. I started my assault of the internet and the public at large.

But now I have decided to further add to your misery by introducing a visual assault of your senses! I thought a video diary of my progress might be a good idea, though the toxins polluting my brain may have more than a little influence on my rationale.

Now it’s fare to say that really, I have the looks for radio. But I didn’t feel this was reason enough not to do it, after all, Piers Morgan does it on a regular basis and I don’t hear you complaining about that. Okay, so you do but he gets paid for it and I’m appearing for free!

I hope I will have the courage to talk openly and frankly about what I’m going through. Not just the treatment and transplant operation, though this I hope will provide a practical insight for anyone who is facing the same plight now or in the future. I hope I can raise awareness about Hepatitis and liver health. But also, for selfish reasons as much as anything, organ donor-ship and its vital importance not just for HCV sufferers, but for many other ailments that could be alleviated by it.

But also I hope to talk about how I feel on a personal and emotional level. I’m not just talking about some of the comic bilge that I put on my blog-post. Though I think there is a place for my scribbling, for you guys and me, to try and lighten the mood of a situation that could otherwise seem bleak. And it’s this that will probably be the hardest, both for you to watch but certainly for me to get across. When you’re writing you get time to consider what you’re conveying but when you're live, in front of a camera you don’t usually have that luxury, especially if your recording treatment as it happens.

As I have said before, I am not anybody’s victim, nor am I looking for sympathy. I just want to get better and show to Hep C sufferers and anyone else who wants to see the issues I’m facing, what it’s like being me right now. That is why I named this blog; My World. It’s not glamorous, it’s not big and as you have read, it’s not funny, despite my best efforts to write it that way.

I intend therefore, to try and keep this diary practical and serious and straight to the point without boring you all to death. I will try and keep my clowning around to my blog-posts.

Right now, my main issue is my looks! Purely because of what this terrible affliction has done to me, I am no longer the handsome, suave, sophisticated, good looking guy that you see in my profile photo, but rather these days I rather look more like this guy:

Whilst the scrawny features are not completely dissimilar to how I’ve looked since my teens, I was never a Schwarzenegger! However as you can l see by my yellowy wizened features, I have deteriorated considerably in recent times. I confess that my dress code and sexual preferences have remained unchanged from this picture but promise faithfully not to share this considerable pleasure on film, leastways unless you’re paying for it baby!

Keep a look out for my diary, I’ll post it in as many places as possible without terrifying young children and the elderly and infirm, however if you find it disturbing your quite free to turn it off. It will certainly be streamed here on my blog as I intend it to run alongside my ramblings as well as posted on ‘YouTube’

Besides, I have to look in the mirror every day, so I feel it’s only fair that I should subject you guys to the same misery that I have to face on a daily basis. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

Keep well everyone.... Ian


Gentlemen, We Can Rebuild Him (Hepatitis C (Hep C) Blog)

Monday, 4 January 2010

For those of you who are here for the first time and for those of you who ‘tune in’ regularly to my blog; you will probably know by now that I am currently on the transplant list waiting for a new liver.

Unfortunately for me, by the time I was diagnosed with HCV, and then had a liver biopsy to determine the effects of the damage caused to my liver by the virus, it was already too late. My liver had advanced cirrhosis and therefore the standard treatment to clear the virus was not an option open for me.

Cirrhosis means scarring of the liver tissues and for me it is scarred so badly that the functioning parts of the liver are no longer sufficient to sustain me. In short, my liver is failing. What’s more, the Hep C virus is continuing its attack of what’s left of the organ.

The good part about that, if there is one, is that I have not had to go through ‘combination treatment’ of Ribavarin and Interferon over a long period of time to eradicate the HCV. Certainly from what I have learned is that that treatment is a bloody awful experience that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy! It would appear to me to be a long hard slog (usually 48 weeks) with many side effects and makes me shudder to think about. However there is a possibility that one day you may come out on top and virus-free.

The down side for me is that I will never be able to live a life without taking drugs everyday and there is a strong possibility that I will have to live with Hep C, even after the op, for the rest of my life. Not good!

That doesn’t mean though, that I am living a life without hope, far from it in fact. Though I'm not looking forward to the surgery, I am looking forward to feeling better after it.

On good days, when I don't feel so bad I think; have they got the right bloke or, do I really need to go to these lengths to make me feel better. Have they made a mistake with their diagnosis and suggested treatment. Or even just; am I really that bad that combination therapy would not work?

But then on other days I feel so bad that I could ring up St. Jimmy’s and beg them to get this thing out of me and change it for one that works, and the sooner the better.

Or like the other day when I was editing some photos that I took over this Christmas period. Most of the photos were taken by me, but on the odd occasion Mandy had caught me in the background when I wasn’t paying attention and keeping out of frame. Suddenly there I was, old yellow head, my gaunt, wizened complexion against a plain magnolia wall or worse still, next to my kids! They looked so young and healthy, their eyes like beautiful blue pools set in white marble, Greek god like, and, stood next to them a ghoulish old creature about to pounce and devour their innocent soles. Thank God they don’t see me as that, to them, fortunately for me; they just see lovely cuddly Daddy who has a sore tummy and sleeps a lot!

I try not to dwell too much on the transplant operation, Nine hours of surgery or so seems far too daunting to contemplate followed by intensive care and hospitalised recovery. I prefer to concentrate instead on coming out on the other side of all that.

Do you remember Steve Austen, the Bionic Man? A man barely alive! He was my favourite 70’s all-action hero, half man, half Betamax video recorder spares, serialised weekly. For those who don’t know, the story line was; he was US astronaut turned test pilot who crashes during a test flight and then is rebuilt so that he can go on and fight for the US government and Mama’s home-made apple pie!

I kid you not, it was that ‘cheesy’ and if you don’t believe me, click on this link and watch the opening title sequence!


See, it really was that bad! My Dad used to describe it as ’shit from China’ he always did have a way with words. But as a boy of 10 or 12 at the time, I loved it and tuned in without fail.

The problem is that now, when I think of my ‘road to recovery’, I keep seeing myself in surgery in much the same way as the title sequence and then, there I am, on that bloody treadmill whilst the music starts to elevate in the background and next I’m running at 70mph! I can hear old ‘Oscar Goldman’ doing the voice over, “Ian Quill, A man barely alive” not that there was ever much going on much between the ears; “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him, we have the technology” by now I’m ‘pumping’ those bloody big dumbbells, “Ian Quill will be that Man, better than he was before,” no more wizened old yellow faced crone, “better, stronger, faster” and by now I look like a cross between The Terminator and a bronzed Adonis! And splat, someone slaps a price tag of £6.00 on me and at that I still look overpriced.

Okay, okay, so I’ve overdone it on the Sunny Delight and chocolate and I probably won’t be able to sleep so well tonight. But just thinking about what it will be like to feel normal again seems damn good to me. At this moment in time I’ve got to say that I just feel plain old sick and tired of feeling plain old sick and tired, all of the time. So if the Six Million Dollar Man is going to help me get me straightened out, that’s fine by me

And maybe when I have a correctly functioning liver that’s supplying my brain with the necessary chemicals it needs instead of toxins, maybe I’ll stop imagining that I’m an all American 70’s Action Hero, but until then, you’ll have to put up with me the way I am!

Keep well everybody.... Ian


A Hero of Mine (Hepatitis C (Hep C) Blog)

Saturday, 2 January 2010


Click on the link and turn it up!

Ian Dury - Lest we forget

(Oh yeah, and did I mention that he's about to be huge (again)!)


Angry (not so) Young Man! (Hepatitis C (Hep C) Blog)

Since I started writing about my experiences as a Hep C sufferer on this blog and facebook and the like, I have received so many words of support from friends, both old and new. So many of the people I have met in recent times like me, are ’Heppers’ and understand completely what I’m going through and have been a great help and support to me.

But, being the highly sociable person that I once was, I have so many old friends who, like me, feel bewildered and bereft by the situation that I now find myself in. And so today I thought I’d write and spare a thought for them, in the hope, that we can figure out how we will both come through this thing, together.

Take my very old friend Ali. And she is getting on a bit. I’ve known her for umpteen years, I met her when I was just a boy and she was a young woman! Enough said. But anyway Ali has always been very much like me, apart from, she is ginger, got big tits and loves sleeping with men. And on these points we differ greatly, but I wouldn’t mind a big pair of jugs like that! But anyway, as I was saying, despite these obvious drawbacks, Ali is a wonderful human being, a ‘bon viveur of the highest order, and a bloody good friend. Now I know what you’re thinking; does her collar and cuffs match. And the answer to that is, I don’t know. Though it’s not for the want of trying on odd occasions, but that was usually because she’d poured a load of alcohol down my throat and various pills! Which, if you ask me is tantamount to date/rape, but I won’t hold it against her. In fairness, I was completely safe unless she’d have had a lolly stick and a couple of elastic bands handy. What she should’ve done is use the little blue pills; some bloody mate!

Anyway, as I was saying, Ali is the sort of girl who could make a party happen, anywhere. A couple of baubles off the Christmas tree, a party popper and half a mouldy mince pie that Santa left and she’d be off! She’d organise a ‘posse’, choose a venue, add a twist of alcohol or something and before you know it, everybody was hammered and having a great time. On so many occasions I’d sat in a late night club with her watching her adoring crowd running around with furniture on their heads whilst we sat back and ‘pushed the buttons’ And that’s the kind of girl she is. So why am I writing this? I’d almost forgotten I was having such a good time with all that mist in my eyes...

So there I am on New Year’s Eve / Morning. I’ve watched ‘em on the telly in Trafalgar Square, counting out the old and ringing in the New Decade. Someone was letting fireworks off in the village and terrifying my dog. And I’m sitting in bed with a glass of Schleur (non alcoholic) and that half a mince pie I was on about, thinking “that’s enough of all that, let’s hope 2010 brings some respite!”

And I started to contemplate what a let-down the first Millennium decade had been. As one ‘twitterer’ put it in 140 characters’; “Jet Packs, they promised us Jet Packs, what happened to our Jet Packs?”

And then I started to think about the last decade and what it had meant to me, on a personal level. And I can tell you this, for me personally it was a decade where I watched just about everything completely f**k up! Just about every constant that I took as given seemed to go completely la-la, and it got worse as the decade went on!

All that hope that we all had as we watched the dawn of the New Millennium, how they’d banged on about it prior to its arrival and the things we was going to achieve during the next decade. A new government, a new leader, a new era! Everything was booming and I too was being swept along with it. For me, things couldn’t have been better!

And then, at no particular defining point, everything started to go wrong. To me, an agnostic, it seemed like the biblical struggle between good and evil had indeed come to pass as predicted for the Millennium and at some point during the ‘Noughties’, evil triumphed. And again I was being swept along with it, suddenly for me, it all fell apart.

That is with the exception of one thing, People! My saving grace and the reason why I hope I will prevail in the end. But this is what really does my cake in. How come there are so many good people out there; and I know this because so many of them are good friends of mine, and things can still go so terribly wrong?

So, there I am with my half a mince pie and my Schleur (non alcoholic) getting into a bit of a rage about everything and crumbs are going all over the bed. And suddenly I thought, I know, let’s get the laptop out! And then I’ll send out some really sad well-wishes to the people who are out revelling and won’t even get them ‘till the next day when they try and find out from their mates on facebook, what they got up to the night before. (That’s what I always used to do!) That’ll perk me up!

So I sat the laptop on my lap, as you do and fires it up. And there, to my amazement is a message sat in my ‘inbox’ from Ali and it read as follows:

“Well, Bonne Annee our Rio. Midnight on New Years, gigantic fireworks going off here (probably cause a bloody avalanche), but I just felt like saying hello to you. I so wish you weren’t going through this, and let’s hope this is the year that you get all mended. In the words of Benjamin Disraeli; "Never apologise for showing your feelings, when you do so, you apologise for the truth!" Keep writing what you write, it’s amazing. Right now I feel like I’ve spent a bit of New Year with you. Chin up lad - Ali x”

And there it was; enough to restore my faith in human kind, certainly. But also, enough to make me feel bloody angry. Not at Ali, God no. But just bloody Angry, mainly at this situation I’m in and how it’s gonna change so much of my life. And how it’s gonna change the relationships I have with Ali and so many of my old friends.

And if I came across Benjamin Disraeli today and he uttered those words too me, then, like Washington who could not tell a lie, I would have to reply “Sir, I am not apologising, I am fighting! Fighting against an enemy that I cannot touch, see, smell or hear, but against an enemy that I can feel, and it makes me bloody angry! And frankly Sir, I’m just about ready to twat someone!”

Ali wrote that note because right now, I need some kind words from my mates, and probably like me, she’s clinging on to a memory of something that will never be the same again. That’s why I’m so angry, because that isn’t the way I knew her before, but it will probably be how I know her for a long time to come. As it will for so many of my other good friends.

All I can say to them now is this, Guys, deep inside I’m still the person I once was, and you know if there ever was a guy who could pull it round, you know it would be me! I’ll be back soon, it will be different, but I will be back.

And Ali, if you do see Disraeli on your travels, tell him I’m sorry, I didn’t mean what I said back there, I’m a lover not a fighter but sometimes these days, I can be such an angry, not so young man. I’ll see you in the 20teens, on the other side of this thing, ‘till then.... chin up lass – rio x

Keep well everyone - Ian


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What Is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C Information:

Hepatits C is a blood-borne viral disease which can cause liver inflamation, fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver cancer. The Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread by blood-to-blood contact with infected person's blood. Many people with HCV infection have no symptoms and are unaware of the need to seek treatment. Hepatitis C infects an estimated 150-200 million people worldwide. It is the leading cause of liver Transplant...

Hepatitis C is an inflamation of the liver caused by infection with the Hepatitis C virus is one of the five known hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D & E. Hepatitis C was previousley known as non-A non-B hepatitis prior to isolation of the virus in 1989.

Symptoms of Acute Hepatitis C:

Acute Hepatitis C refers to first 6 months after infection with HCV. Remarkably, 60% - 70% of people develop no symptoms during the acute phase. In the minority of patients who experience acute phase symptoms, thet are generally mild and non-specific, and rarely lead to specific diagnoses of Hepatitis C. Symptoms of acute hepatitis C include decreased appetite, fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, itching and flu-like symptoms.

Symptoms of Chronic Hepatitis C:

Chronic Hepatitis C is defined as infection with the Hepatitis C virus persisting for more than six months. The course of chronic hepatitis C varies considerably from one person to another. Virtually all people infected with HCV have evidence of inflamation on liver biopsy however, the rate of progression of liver scarring (fibrosis) shows significant inter-individual variability.

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